Video conferences going mobile?

News and Insights

Video conferences going mobile?
This article first appeared on Best in UC. Is video conferencing coming to a mobile phone near you? Jupiter Research thinks so. According to the analyst firm’s Mobile Voice & Video Calling report, the market is rapidly changing in ways that improve the prospects of mobile video calling in the near future. The company points to three particular advancements, including:
  • The launch of mobile video calling services by major industry players, for example Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype and Google’s latest video conferencing app
  • More front-facing cameras on smartphones
  • Other technology improvements in both phones and calling infrastructure
Juniper forecasts a steady increase in the number of mobile video callers across all regions, with the number of mobile video callers reaching more than 134 million by 2016. The increasing dominance of the smartphone in developed markets, meanwhile, and the simplicity of the app and download model have improved the market for mVoIP delivered through mobile clients downloaded to the handset, although there are still few alliances between mobile network operators and VoIP service providers. Many basic mobile video calling services are offered for free by players wishing to kick-start the market. “Services such as Apple’s FaceTime have brought mobile video calling to the public consciousness,” says Anthony Cox, associate analyst at Juniper Research. However, the report also finds that lack of a standardized approach and the absence of a clear route to monetize new IP-based mobile video calling services may hold back mobile video calling from becoming a truly mass-market service for the foreseeable future. Mobile video calling services are developing in tandem with mobile VoIP (mVoIP). Both services will grow significantly faster in developed markets, thanks to the rollout of 3G and 4G networks. With mVoIP, the infrastructure of a VoIP is transferred to a mobile environment. In essence, the mobile device becomes and SIP client. It can then use a local network to send and receive voice calls, leading to significant savings on mobile minutes and higher overall call quality. Earlier this year, for example, ShoreTel released its ShoreTel Mobility solution, which allows users’ mobile phones to seamlessly switch between a cellular network and a local area network. Even with infrastructure enhancements, however, mass use of mVoIP could create setbacks if it were to become a reality. Video calling requires 25 times the data capacity of a voice call, and customers demand clean, clear audio and video transmissions. So while mobile calling may be on the rise, its ubiquity remains in the more distant future.

Comments are closed

Email Us or Call 1-800-345-4211